In 1930's America, a small group of east coast scientists shared a common passion for the study and exploration of caves. At a time when the subterranean world was viewed through a lens of mystery and folklore, these pioneers of speleology developed the early techniques for underground research. Two years and a few hundred members later, the Speleological Society of Washington DC recognized a growing demand for a parent organization. Through their efforts, the National Speleological Society was legally incorporated as a non-profit organization on January 1, 1941.
Seventy-five years, and nearly 70,000 members later, the NSS has evolved into the largest organization in the world dedicated to the exploration, study, and preservation of caves. We're an affiliate member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and our research frequently graces the pages of science journals, mass media and National Geographic magazine. NSS members are regular collaborators with the US Geological Society, National Park Service, US Forest Service, US Fish & Wildlife and countless municipal agencies and private cave owners. We've provided research and testimony for the United States Congress and even assisted NASA in predicting cave environments on Mars.
In July of 2016, the NSS will celebrate its 75th anniversary at our annual convention in the historic western town of Ely, Nevada.
Garnet displays the greatest variety of color of any mineral, occurring in every color except blue. An alluvial deposit of almandite garnet is found along Hampton Creek Canyon in White Pine County about 5 miles outside of Ely. This site is nationally known for its very dark colored garnets found in a flow of banded rhyolitic volcanic rock.
Crystals from Garnet Hill exhibit sharp terminations and a sparkling luster and make attractive mineral specimens. They are dark maroon red to black in color and average between one quarter to one half inch in size.